Gardena, CA
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Articles by Joe Snyder

Last Friday’s Mission League football game between host Serra and Loyola was in the air.

In the end, though, it was the Cavaliers, behind the arm of senior quarterback Jalani Eason and the hands of junior wide receiver Kobe Smith that helped Serra defeat the Cubs 41-30 in the Cavaliers’ homecoming game.

Serra High’s football team started the season slow with three losses to defending state champions in Saguora of Scottsdale, Ariz., Harbor City Narbonne and New Jersey champion St. Joseph Regional but started the highly competitive Mission League with a key 30-28 victory over a very good Chaminade team from West Hills last Friday at Serra.

After losing its 2016 season opener to Wilmington Banning on Aug. 26 at North Torrance High, the Saxons’ football team came back and reeled off back-to-back victories over Aliso Niguel and Bishop Montgomery.

Last Friday, North traveled to Culver City in a match-up between two young but talented teams. The Centaurs, however, used the better of their talent, along with very good speed, and pulled away from the Saxons 37-14.

Serra High’s football team began its season at 0-3 but against three defending state champions who are expected to, again, be strong contenders and among the top squads in the United States.

Last Friday, the Cavaliers returned home and had a little break taking on still a very good but not quite as highly regarded Dorsey High from the CIF-Los Angeles City Section. Serra started out struggling on offense but finally got things going and won its first game of the season over the Dons 34-6.

Gardena High’s young and inexperienced football team continued to struggle as it was, for the second straight time, routed by West Valley High from Hemet 45-13 in non-league play last Thursday at Gardena.

The Mustangs, who evened their record to 1-1, wasted little time on the Panthers, who fell to 0-2, jumping out to a 19-0 first quarter lead. Gardena managed to score its first touchdown on a 15-yard run by Davion Smith to cut West Valley’s lead to 19-7.

Serra High’s football team started off well, for a bit of time, but from there, Narbonne proved dominant against the mostly young and inexperienced Cavaliers for a 34-12 intersectional non-league win in a game between two of the South Bay’s biggest powers.

Last season, Gardena High’s football team advanced to the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division II quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Fairfax.

This year, the Panthers lost numerous top players and appear to be in for rebuilding.

Under third year head coach Vince Smith, the Panthers only have a handful of returning starters but should have some good size on the line, behind 6-foot-2, 280-pound senior tackle Zion Love and 5-foot-11, 260-pound sophomore tackle Imir Mitchell.

Serra High’s football team enjoyed a lot of success in recent years and it will begin its season with a bang this year.

The XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janiero, Brazil opened last Friday and the United States is on fire.

As of last Sunday, the U.S. won 12 medals, including three golds, five silvers and four bronzes.

The Freeman Park Athletics captured the Gardena Parks and Recreation Youth Baseball League championship by routing the host Mas Fukai Dodgers 14-3 in the final last Saturday at Fukai Park.

The Dodgers looked like they were start off well in the top of the first inning. They loaded the bases with one out but managed only one run for a 1-0 lead.